The Little Prince
Written during World War II, The Little Prince tells of the friendship between the narrator, an aviator stranded in the Sahara desert, and a mysterious boy whom he encounters there. Ruler of a tiny asteroid of which he is the only inhabitant, the Little Prince chats disarmingly about his curious adventures in space and since arriving on earth; of his distant home and of his love for a beautiful and capricious rose, to whom he longs to return. A moving and deceptively simple tale, it was described by Saint-Exupéry as a children's story for adults, and it works on several levels as an allegory of his own life, or of the human condition. Children love it for its deadpan fantasy, for its sense of amused bafflement at the grown-up world and for the author's attractive watercolour illustrations which are an integral part of the book.
Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry was born on 29 June 1900 in Lyon, France. He first flew in a plane when he was twelve years old, an experience which ignited a life-long love of aviation and adventure. After serving in the French air force, Saint-Exupéry joined a pioneering aviation company and helped to establish the first airmail routes over north Africa and South America, surviving numerous accidents and gaining the Légion d’honneur for his service. His experiences inspired several books, including Night Flight (1931), and Wind, Sand and Stars (1939), which were awarded France’s highest literary awards. He wrote The Little Prince during a sojourn in the US, where it was first published in 1943, before he returned to France to fly military reconnaissance missions. On 31 July 1944, Saint-Exupéry took off from an air base in Corsica, but never returned. His disappearance remained the subject of speculation until 1998, when his identity bracelet was recovered from the sea off the coast of Marseille.
Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain’s best loved children’s authors. He was born in 1943 in St Albans and published his first book in 1975. Since then he has written over one hundred books, which have been translated into over twenty languages, and adapted for film and the stage, including the National Theatre’s hit production of War Horse. His books have won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Book Prize, the Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award as well as many others. Michael was Children’s Laureate from 2003-2005, and was awarded an OBE in 2006.